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Robert Frost -- ife Issues and Parallels to My ife
A ife Filled with Tragic Inspiration
Robert Frost was a prolific American writer and poet whose work captured the difficulties some of the most challenging periods in modern American history as well as his personal trials and tribulations. Frost's work is known for the eloquence that he was able to express using the simple language of common colloquial speech (Holman & Snyder, 2012). His father, a hard-drinking disciplinarian and journalist, died at the age of thirty-six from the consequences of excessive drinking when Frost was a child. His adult life was also marred by a long string of personal tragedies, such as in the loss of two of his six children in infancy and of his favorite child, his daughter, Marjorie, after delivering her first child. Only four years later, his wife, Elinor, suffered a sudden fatal heart attack, followed…… [Read More]
Robert Frost wrote, "I have written to keep the over curious out of the secret places in my mind both in my verse and in my letters." In a poem, he wrote, "I have been one acquainted with the night." Those unfamiliar with Robert Frost's life story might not realize the significance of those words. Frost was born in a nearly lawless city and grew up in a highly dysfunctional family. As an adult his life was riddled with trials and tragedies. Although he and his wife had four children, three died tragically: a four-year-old boy, a daughter from tuberculosis, and another daughter to suicide.
Robert Lee Frost had secrets to keep. orn in San Francisco in 1874, his family had so many secrets that for many years he was not certain of the year of his birth (Meyers, p. 2). The first Frost came to the United States in…… [Read More]
Robert Frost's adulthood was also riddled with loss. He often felt jealous and resentful that the quality of his poetry was slow to be recognized. Unable to support his family with his writing, for many years he had to work at various jobs, often as a teacher until his grandfather finally gave him land to live on and an allowance with on which to live (Meyers, p. 52). In addition, although he and his wife had four children, three died: a son at the age of four; a daughter before she was 30 from tuberculosis, and another son by suicide. These losses put stresses on his marriage (ovett-Graff, 2004).
Before moving to his grandfather's property, Frost moved his family to Great Britain in 1912, disillusioned by the lukewarm successes he had experienced in the United States. In England he connected with several other poets, including T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound,…… [Read More]
"He gives his harness bells a shake / to ask if there is some mistake." The horse's action portrays the tendency of people to question those choices they don't understand. This scene can be interpreted as the disapproving voice of society voicing its demands on those of a more sensitive bent.
In much the same vein as the previous stanza, Frost shows a depth of human understanding (and misunderstanding). Our motives are ours alone, and try as we might, we cannot truly understand another.
Frost concludes the poem by commenting on the nature of obligations and they role they play in our choices. "The woods are lovely, dark and deep / but I have promises to keep / and miles to go before I sleep..."
While the author expresses his desire to linger amongst the magnificent forest and rest awhile, he must push on due to his obligations. Contrary to…… [Read More]
Robert Frost treats several themes in his short lyrical poem, "The Road Not Taken." First, Frost focuses on the notion of choice and decision: the narrator is faced with a fork in the road and must choose which path to take. He momentarily wishes that he could travel both paths at once and still be "one traveler," (line 3). After hemming and hawing, the narrator chooses the path less trodden. hy the narrator made this decision is not made entirely clear, but Frost suggests that the traveler almost took pity on the road: "it was grassy and wanted wear," (line 8). However, he notices that although he imagined that the one path seemed less worn, that both were "really about the same," (line 10). Finally, the third stanza of Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" explicates the most significant theme of the poem: that of regret. This theme pervades the…… [Read More]
Kidd. The poet's journey toward the night, his familiarity with the night, both represents the poet's search for "complete self-knowledge" and his willingness to explore unknown - again, mysterious - territory.
In the second stanza, Amano conjectures that Frost is putting the persona into the reader's consciousness in the form of a denial of others. The "watchman" is the only other human in this poem, of course, but beyond that, it may be that the speaker looks down rather than at the watchman because the speaker feels some guilt, or indifference. The watchman might be a timekeeper, as well, and the poet / speaker is reluctant to face the reality that his time is running out on this earth.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet / hen far away an interrupted cry / Came over houses from another street..." Frost writes in the third stanza. That…… [Read More]
Frost's poem mirrors the Biblical Fall story. The narrator explicitly states that he "let it fall and break," just as Eve let herself break down and eat from the tree of forbidden fruit (line 13). The narrator also notes, "But I was well / Upon my way to sleep before it fell," (line 15). He had already begun to lose consciousness, to succumb to desire and dreaming. Thus the narrator takes full responsibility for his fall, offering a humanistic twist to the traditional Garden of Eden story. Rather than blaming the serpent for the evils of the world the narrator places human beings in a more spiritually powerful position. The narrator remains in full control of his consciousness even as he slips away. He claims that he "could tell / What form my dreaming was about to take," in lines 16 and 17. The two-pointed ladder, his symbolic Satan, swayed…… [Read More]
The third and fourth lines of the poem emphasize the idea of silence and separateness.
There was an hour
All still From the above lines it becomes clear that the poem is describing a particular moment or an important short space of time. This fits in well with the idea of the poem as an epiphany. The first action occurs when the poet leans against a flower and hears a voice.
When leaning with my head against a flower
I heard you talk.
This is a fantastic idea and it also forms part of Frost's mystical way of writing about nature. The poem requires a certain 'suspension of disbelief' if we are to penetrate to its deeper meaning. "One can respond to such poems...only by suspending one's reasonable awareness of what flowers can and cannot do." (Nitchie, W. Page 87) sense of nostalgia and longing is also created in the…… [Read More]
Robert Frost's New England Poetics Of Isolation And Community In Humanity's State Of Nature
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall," reads the first line of Robert Frost's classic poem, "Mending all." The narrative of Frost's most famous poem depicts two farmers, one "all" pine and the other apple orchard," who are engaged in the almost ritualistic action of summer fence mending amongst New England farmers. However, the apple farmer in the voice of the poet notes that his "apple trees will never get across/And eat the cones under his pines." Yet still, the farmers persist in the mending of fences and the keeping of barriers up between one another. This theme of attempted isolation and then connection on the part of Frost in his various poetic personas that is mirrored in the behavior of the natural world runs through "Mending all," "The Telephone," and "The ood-pile."
The larger…… [Read More]
Frost's piece "Fire and Ice" is also rich with metaphors about the human condition. Frost begins his piece with "Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice." Again at first glance, frost appears to be discussing the end of the world. However, his next line "From what I've tasted of desire, I'll hold with those who favor fire." Frost appears to be discussing the end of the human soul in terms of human reasoning, in that he is choosing fire, representing the desire of mankind, which can certainly be the cause behind the destruction of one's soul. His next stanza, "But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate to know that for destruction ice is also great and would suffice," also shows this representation of the human emotion as being the cause for ending. He relates ice to hate, representing…… [Read More]
The last stanza is the protagonist's projection of what he thinks the future will hold. He imagines himself relating this day with a sigh to another, and letting them know that when he came to the fork in the road he took the road less traveled, and that made all the difference.
We must remember two things the author said, first it is the story of his friend, Edward Thomas, and second Frost described this poem as "tricky" (Grimes, 2006). Though the roads are described as being for all intents and purposes equal it is obvious they are not. The first road is "bent in the under growth" while the second is "grassy," "wanted wear" and "the better claim." The protagonist took the second road. In other words he took the easy way. The protagonist asserts that he would like to take both roads, and understands he will never have…… [Read More]
The remainder of the poem assumes a more regularly rhythmic form, although the meter is not strict. Some of the remaining lines and stanzas follow an iambic hexameter, such as stanza three. However, many of the lines are in anapestic hexameter, or contain combinations of various meters. The poet inserts dactylic and anapestic feet along with iambic and also trochaic ones for intensity and variation, much as one would read a bedside story to a child.
Throughout the poem/story the narrator uses active voice, encouraging the listener to become further absorbed in the tale. Moreover, the active voice dramatizes the personification of the wind and window flower, the male and female protagonists in the tale. For instance, "He marked her through the pane," (line 9). When the speaker addresses the audience he uses imperative verbs: "Lovers, forget your love," (line 1). Although the wind performs most of the action in…… [Read More]
Frost's Sense of Home
Robert Frost is one of the most prominent American poets of the twentieth century, with poems that manage to evoke elegance and wisdom while remaining earthy and true to the straightforward American character at the same time. At the same time, there is often a sense of seeming directionless and uncertain, which is of course the flipside of the freedom and self-determination of the American way. Tracing these elements in Frost's poetry leads to the recognition of a certain recurrent theme: the sense of home and belonging, often represented through its lacking. That is, Frost is able to evoke a clear sense of the feeling of "home" in certain poems, while at other times he uses similar sentiments in their opposite incarnations to evoke a sense of strangeness or a lack of "home" feelings. The following paragraphs will examine how Frost is able to…… [Read More]
Both of Robert Frost's poems, "The Road Not Taken," and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" use natural imagery to illustrate the narrator's train of thought. However, the theme and tone of the two poems differ. In "The Road Not Taken," the narrator is caught at a crossroads. The poem deals with the difficulties of the decision he faces, and the mild regret that he experiences once he chooses a certain path. On the other hand, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" demonstrates decisive thought. The author clearly chooses to take a rest and watch the glory of the snow filling up the woods. Although his horse beckons him to leave, the narrator remains in awe of his natural surroundings and happy that he has had the opportunity to enjoy experiencing nature. In "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," the author also indicates that he…… [Read More]
" The degree of importance ascribed to such a decision transcends a mere walk in the woods, and refers to a decision that changes one's life and which one desires to have reconsidered.
Readers can also infer that this work is literally about life's regrets due to the amount of importance which Frost attributes to the decision that the traveler makes. Literally, of course, the traveler is considering which road to take. Figuratively, however, this decision represents an important life altering choice. As such, it is not a decision that the traveler rushes into precipitously, which the following quotation, in which he analyzes the pair of paths, proves. "…long I stood / And looked down one as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth; / Then took the other…" (Frost.) This passage indicates that author utilizes a copious amount of time in forming this decision.…… [Read More]
To be "acquainted with the night" is here obviously to have an experience of the darker and more profound regions of the human mind. All the images in the text indicate that the poet crosses the boundaries of consciousness, entering a world of veiled darkness, beyond the "furthest city light": "I have been one acquainted with the night. / I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain. / I have outwalked the furthest city light."(Frost, 8) The actual description in the poem suggests a nocturnal walk somewhere beyond the borders of an inhabited city. The poet thus symbolically goes past the watchman, "unwilling to explain," that is, refusing communication with the only other human character in the poem, and moves ahead without being deterred by the cry that came from another street. The imagery thus suggests a moving forward away from light, civilization and human companionship, deep…… [Read More]
Third Activity: In the third stanza, why does the poet say a leaf is "softly rattling down" -- how could a falling leaf be softly falling and rattling at the same time? It is important to use one's imagination to conjure up as many possibilities as one can. Think back to spring when the leaf was just a bud on a branch. Is a leaf's annual growth and death like human life in any way? Make a rough drawing of a leaf in its growing stages and under each stage give the year in human years. In other words, take the leaf through its seasonal life on its branch and compare its various stages with a human life. hen the bud first appears and has not opened yet is that like a baby still in its mother's womb? hat does it look like -- in comparison to a human's life…… [Read More]
Both Mary and Warren are thinking that Silas thought of them as family and their land as his home. Warren mocks her when she said Silas has come home and she responses with Yes, what else but home? It all depends on what you mean by home. Of course he's nothing to us, any more than was the hound that came a stranger to us out of the woods, worn out upon the trail.
Mary's statement suggests that she think that Silas has been worn out by life and that he arrived on their farm tatter and broken. Through out the poem Mary has expressed sympathy and empathy for Silas. Her whole purpose for meeting Warren at the door is to ask him to be kind to Silas. She observes that Silas a miserable sight, even frightening. He is mumbling in his sleep and appears troubled by the days when…… [Read More]
When incorporating Robert Frost's poem into a lesson with young adults, educators can discuss both theme and poetic devices. The poem can become a springboard for discussion about privacy, personal boundaries, land ownership, and cultural differences regarding privacy. Students can share their own views over how strong the walls are between them and their friends or family members. The discussion may be especially fruitful in diverse classrooms, where students will have vastly different points-of-view and experiences regarding walls, neighbors, and privacy.
"Mending Wall" can also be studied as a poem, to analyze its literary devices. Metaphor is the main lesson to be learned from "Mending Wall," although Frost's free verse style can help students understand different forms of poetry too. Frost's use of diction and humor are unique, as the narrator speculates as to the relevance of the saying "Good fences make good neighbors." Inspired by Robert Frost, young adults…… [Read More]
It was not easy to go to a university at that time. It was actually safer for some Blacks to stay in their neighborhood with what they were familiar with, than to go to college. This scenario here can be compared directly to obert Frost's poem. Just as the narrator in "The oad Not Taken" makes the difficult choice of going one path and not going to the other, the same can be applied to Langston Hughes' poem where the narrator also had to make the same choice before entering the university. He had the difficult choice of staying on the streets where crime and illegal activity was pretty prevalent, or going to college where discrimination and racial profiling would be inevitable. Both relatively unpleasant ideas, both choices to be made, and once one choice was made, the narrator could not help but to think about the other choice not…… [Read More]
It is clear that the boy believes the teachers had expected more of them and have now demonstrated that they were "mistaken." The addressee actually reminds me of myself, of my relation to the mischievous boy in my school. But I was never sent to the corner or punished with the boy in my school, and the addressee in this poem is most likely the other boy who has been punished and with the speaker been sent to "the wayside nook." After all the speaker refers to "us," so it must be that the addressee is his partner in crime, so to speak.
The tone of the speaker ranges from honest assessment to ironic and humorous revelation. The tone of honesty is heard in the first half of the poem, as the speaker considers not his own actions but those of the teacher (and places the greater fault on the…… [Read More]
Robert Frost's famous poem, "irches," might be described as a poem of redemptive realism, a poem that offers a loving, yet tinged-by-the-tragic view of life as seen through the metaphors of nature. In fact, Robert Frost could be called a kind of subversive pastoralist, for unlike the romantic nature poets who preceded him, such as Wordsworth, he sees nature's wildness, her beauty, and yet her relentless harshness as well. The poem, "irches" is a perfect depiction of the balance we try to achieve between our own will and the will of nature; between joy and sorrow; between heaven and earth; between loving this life and weeping over it. "The desire to withdraw from the world and love of the earth is symbolized in the boy's game of swinging birch trees." (Lynen).
The poem is often thought to be divided into three main sections. The first is a very detailed, realistic…… [Read More]
Robert Frost, "Acquainted with the Night"
Robert Frost's "Acquainted with the Night" is not a traditional sonnet. Although it has the traditional fourteen lines and tightly rhymed stanzas associated with both Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnets, Frost's rhyme scheme here is unusual: he uses the interlinking rhymes structured around successive tercets that is known as terza rima, whose greatest proponent was probably Dante in The Divine Comedy. But Frost takes the radical solitude of Dante, who bereft of Beatrice is then led by the ghost of Virgil into a sort of dream-vision of eternity, and offers no otherworldly way out. It is my hope to show that Frost pursues a strategy in "Acquainted with the Night" of using the mundane and realistic details suitable for a poem about observed life, and to make them feel less familiar -- through the formality of the verse -- until it seems that Frost has…… [Read More]
hile the poems are no doubt universal, we can see elements of Americana sprinkled throughout them. Cultural issues such as decision-making, the pressure of responsibility and duty, and the complexity of death emerge in many poems, allowing us to see society's influence on the poet. In "The Road Not Taken," we see how life is filled with choices. Because we are American, we are lucky enough to experience freedom but this does not always come without difficulty. ith this poem, the narrator explains how decision-making can be trying because we never actually know how things are going to turn out. Nevertheless, we must make choices and get on with our lives. In "Stopping by oods," the narrator encounters a similar type of conflict in that the pull of our fast-paced American lives makes him or her want to stay in the woods for just a little while to enjoy the…… [Read More]
Choices seen as roads that appear to be the same are more clear because they allow us to understand that many choices in life are not black and white but gray. Regardless of that, we still must decide which way to go. The literal forest with its paths represents life and the seemingly unimportant choices we make everyday.
The rhyme scheme of the poem is ABAAB and it is made up of four stanzas with five lines in each stanza. Every line of the poem has nine syllables and the scansion of the poem is four feet per line. Frost employs the technique of sound in "The Road Not Taken." Alliteration appears with the words yellow, travel, and traveler and grassy and passing. Assonance appears with many of the rhymes, including wood, could, stood, lay, day, way, sigh, and by. Frost uses these literary techniques to convey a difficult issue…… [Read More]
Robert Frost and "aterfront" by Roo Borson truly do explore similar subject matter, yet in entirely distinct manners. The different approach that each author takes is apparent in their differing uses of tone, structure, imagery, language and point-of-view.
Robert Frost's poem "Neither Out Far Nor in Deep" has a distinctive rhythm which is contained and deliberate. The rhythm of the poem seeks to emulate the rhythmic slapping sounds of the ocean water and the waves. For example, this device is apparent in all the stanzas, though in particularly the following stanza: "As long as it takes to pass/A ship keeps raising its hull;/The wetter ground like glass/Reflects a standing gull" (Frost). The lines are neat and contained and there is a strong rhyme to the end of each line, creating a staccato effect.
The opposite is the case when it comes to the poem "aterfront" by Roo Borson. The rhythm…… [Read More]
He is now content and grateful for his decision, remarking, "and that has made all the difference" (Frost 20). The body of the poem, therefore, allows readers insight into the narrators mind as he or she makes this decision, as he or she realizes that this moment will never again return. Readers are made to feel that they are actually with the narrator as he or she makes his decision by the rhyme scheme of the poem, which is abaab for most lines, and periodic assonance, sound techniques that quickly carry the reader from verse to verse. Finally, at the end of the poem, both the reader and the narrator understand the symbolism in the poem, that the fork in the road is a symbol for a major life decision and the road less traveled by is the less popular and most original decision, the one that will make "all…… [Read More]
One study published in the American Psychiatric Association found that "PTSD has been shown to predict poor health not only in veterans of the 1991 Gulf ar but also in veterans of orld ar II and the Korean ar. Our study extends these findings in a group of active duty soldiers returning from recent combat deployment to Iraq, confirming the strong association between PTSD and the indicators of physical health independent of physical injury" (Hoge, Terhakopian, Castro, Messer & Engel, 2007). From this study one can certainly glean that PTSD has a somatic component to it, or at least there is a prevalence in which persons afflicted with PTSD also suffer from physical health problems. One can also assume that the somatic component was downplayed or overlooked in prior studies, as most treatments for PTSD do not seem to address the physical aspect of the disorder.
To elaborate on this…… [Read More]
Figurative Language in Robert Frost's Poetryand "The Metamorphosis"
Robert Frost is one poet that always utilizes figurative speech in dramatic ways. By employing the literary techniques of symbolism and personification, Frost is able to craft many poems that make us think and feel about many aspects of life. This paper will examine several examples of Frost's figurative language and how they relate to the overall messages of Frost's poetry.
In his famous poem, "The Road Not Taken," the roads the poet are looking down represent life choices. In other words, each road becomes a decision the poet must make. This is a very effective use of symbolism because it gives us a fair representation of what making choices is all about. For example, when we make choice, seldom do we have the opportunity to change our mind and go back to the place where we were when we first began.…… [Read More]
oad not Taken, obert Frost uses the setting, mood, and characterization to help illuminate the theme of choice symbolized by the road not taken.
The poem uses various literary devices to describe choice.
The poem is set in the woods, where two roads diverge.
The setting is symbolic.
The roads represent choice.
The poem has a contemplative mood.
Each of the choices is appealing
The traveler knows that choosing one road means choosing not to follow the other road.
The poem has a complex structure with:
Four five-line stanzas;
ABAAB rhyme structure;
Iambic tetrameter; and D. The use of some anapests.
Frost uses an unnamed narrator in the poem
A. Old enough to have made choices
Not an old person because the narrator expects to age
Poetry Analysis: The oad not Taken by obert Frost
In The oad not Taken, obert Frost uses the narrator's voice to describe a man…… [Read More]
Because foundations to relationships are there, and will eventually and invariably be found.
or the informal portion of this essay, I approach answering this query from a different perspective. Very often, the weather is the start of conversations with our friends, family members and acquaintances -- even casual ones. One revels if the weather is good, especially on a nice spring day that is not quite hot but certainly a mark of winter's departure. On the other hand, if the weather is unfriendly, one commiserates with those involved in the discussion. I will explore the notion of the state of the weather not withstanding, how we react to it is a reflection of our souls. We will enjoy the weather if we are in a good mood. We will not if we are not in a good mood.
Consider the events of September 11, 2001. The day started out as…… [Read More]
Frost and Yeats
The poems "Sailing to Byzantium" by illiam Butler Yates and "Birches" by Robert Frost both tell narratives about one generation and how the death of the old is what allows the present generation to thrive. hereas Yates uses a narrator describing the evolving mental state of a man who knows that he is not long for this earth, Frost uses the degradation of the forests over time to illustrate the same point. One line of Yates' poem acts as a motto for both: "hatever is begotten, born, and dies" (line 6). They are epitaphs to a dying generation, which includes the narrators of the poems themselves.
Yeats' poem "Sailing to Byzantium" is a sad tribute to the older generation who can no longer survive in the modern world. "That is no country for old men" (line 1). The narrator, closely approaching death remarks upon the fragile nature…… [Read More]
In support of this, the speaker then relates "I'd like to get away from earth awhile/and then come back to it and begin over" (lines 48-49, p. ) which indicates that the speaker is tired of his loneliness and the desperation of life and wishes a fresh start.
In "Design," the speaker equates design with "a dimpled spider, fat and white" (line 1, p. ) which has managed to capture a white moth in its web. For the moth, such a fate is undoubtedly a desperate situation, for he is trapped in the web and cannot escape. A sense of utter loneliness is also apparent, for the moth is all alone within the spider's web, waiting to be devoured.
In "Directive," the narrator pines for simpler days and symbolizes this desire by comparing it to a "graveyard marble sculpture in the weather" (line 4, p. ). Also, the narrator supports…… [Read More]
poetry of Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg
Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg are both important poets in their own right. Although they both grew up in the same era, their poetry styles have many differences. The paper firstly states their different origin, history and poetic style. Secondly, it analyzes a selected major work - "The Road Not Taken" and "The Road and The End," - of Frost and Sandburg respectively. It is worth noticing that the chosen poetries of both poets contain many elements of similarity. This makes the chosen sample most suitable to distinguish the most minor, as well as the major differences in the poetic styles of the writers. Thus, in the paper, their lives and poetry styles are compared and contrasted using an example of their poetry.
About Robert Frost
As we read of Frost, we grow in awe of him - his thinking, his understanding, his…… [Read More]
Finally, the sestet ends with a question about whether any moral lessons can be learned from this little scene in nature: "[w]hat but design of darkness to appall/if design govern in a thing so small." In other words, the speaker is asking whether he should even try to draw any conclusions from the spider's destruction of the beautiful moth.
The final lines of the poem not only call into question the beneficence of nature; they also call into question the ability of human beings to draw lessons from nature. (Bagby, pp. 73-74). Ultimately, the poem raises questions about the Darwinian metaphor more than it does about the Darwinian theory. (Hass, p. 62). Frost is trying to suggest that there is a limit to what human beings can learn from nature and to their ability to draw their own moral lessons from it.
In the final analysis, "Design" is a poem…… [Read More]
Imagery in Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken"
Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" depicts the poet in the woods, wandering. Suddenly, he comes across a fork in the road. The woods are yellow, which suggests that it is autumn, or in the autumn of the poet's life. He is facing a middle-age crisis, and is selecting the path that will lead him down a particular, specific path and direction for the rest of his life.
The poet can only take on of the paths before him, one of which is worn, the other less so, as it is grassy and "wants wear." He takes the less worn path, and this, he says at the end of the poem, has made all of the difference. The poem seems to be a metaphor for the poet's decision to reject conventional ways of living life. However, when the poet first…… [Read More]
Acquainted with the Night, by Robert Frost (1874-1963)
The poem Acquainted with the Night was written by Robert Frost and first printed in a collection called est Running Brook published in 1928. Robert Frost's poetry painted a classic picture of life in America. e get glimpses of every day scenes featuring every day people. e also get a picture of the very troubled and depressed Frost himself. hen reading Frost's poetry, it is important to consider the source of the melancholy tone and obsession with ghosts, death, loneliness and sorrow. Robert Frost had many losses in his personal life, business, and loved ones. He moved many times. It is a little known fact that Frost suffered from Tuberculosis. This disease was in epidemic proportions at the time. Tuberculosis not only effects your ability to breath, lowers your immune system, and steals your energy, it also causes sleeplessness, nervousness, and a…… [Read More]
female character in Robert Frost's poem, "Home Burial."
Frost's poem "Home Burial" tells the story of two people torn apart by the loss of their first-born child, a son. Amy, the woman in the story, is nameless until we read at least half the poem. We know she is a woman, because Frost refers to her as "she," and talks about the way she is dressed. "She turned and sank upon her skirts at that, And her face changed from terrified to dull." Already we know that she is troubled about something, and her husband is concerned.
Amy is still grieving over her son that seems to have recently died. She also is very angry with her husband, but she has not told him why. She seems a little afraid of him, but he seems to bend to her wishes. He says, "My words are nearly always an offence. I…… [Read More]
Frost, Hughes, Alexie
The Meaning of "Home" in Frost's "Hired Hand," Hughes' "Landlord" and Alexie's "I ill Redeem"
Robert Frost writes in "The Death of the Hired Hand," "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in" (122-3). Implicit in these lines is the notion that "home" carries certain rules. "Home" is not just a place devoid of higher meaning, but an abstract idea -- a concept bound by a principle of belonging, of submitting, of caring. Just as Langston Hughes shows in "Ballad of the Landlord" (with the tension between negligent landlord and suffering tenant) or as Sherman Alexie shows in "hat You Pawn I ill Redeem" (Jackson sharing a portion of his winnings with Mary, whom he considers family -- "It's an Indian thing"), the principles of "home" are understood and upheld by those who realize its deeper meaning.…… [Read More]
The contrast between Earth and Heaven is central to Frost's poem. Bowed birch boughs convey sharp distinctions between symbolic realms of Earth and Heaven. "Earth's the right place for love," the narrator states; but the human being will always climb back "toward heaven," (lines 53; 57). Thus, the poet addresses directly the dualistic forces of Earth and Heaven in "Birches."
Structurally, "Birches" contains several distinct and contrasting elements, allowing the narrator to distinguish thematically between the opposing forces of reason and fantasy. The first half of the poem is "matter-of-fact about the ice-storm," (line 22). The ice is tangible, heavy, cold, and hard. Using a parenthetical and hypothetical question to segregate the reason from fantasy portions of the poem, the narrator spends the remainder of the poem describing the youthful playfulness of a young boy. Both the ice and the boy denote impermanence: the boy the impermanence of childhood, signified…… [Read More]
Frost's Sounds -- Shaping The Feeling Of The Poem's Reader
Unlike the measured procession of syllables and the soft vowel sounds that characterizes the feelings conveyed in "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening," the poet Robert Frost uses sharp, cracklings consonants to denote the dangerous and active life of the birches of his poem "Birches." The poem about "Birches," particularly in the first lines that set the scene and the stage for the active engagement of the poet with nature, are rife with crackling sharp 'b' plosive sounds that seem to create a sense of brittleness and breaking and exploding upon the reader's ear, as opposed to the softer vs. And ws of the more leisurely and measured progression of verbiage in "Stopping by the Woods."
"When I see birches bend to left and right," "Birches" begins, immediately locating the reader in a state of action, activating the…… [Read More]
Rather than noticing the fragrance of the newly cut hay, the "abyss" of odor at his back indicates the wasteland that Frost perceives the hay field to be. He observes that the last evening swallow, although intermittently silenced by Frost's presence and rustle, finds its voice again on its "last sweep." These words do not evoke joy or vibrancy, but instead suggest something worse than discomfort - a numbness of spirit that exists in a wasteland of such gloomy depths that it implies an empty stoniness of the heart.
The poet has brought along to the hay field a book of old treasured songs, not to read and reminisce, but to hold and "freshen in this air of withering sweetness." The songs must hold some former joy for him, but he holds the book only for the memory of the person who is absent, the person for whom he is…… [Read More]
Judith Oster notes that the poem is of such a nature that it represents the real trauma that occurs after a tragic loss. She writes, "Home is only suffocating when the marriage is unhappy" (Oster 300) and that its subject matter is too dramatic and tragic too realistically ties to failure in human love to have poetic form as its principal subject" (300). Richard Poirier claims that this poem is one of Frost's "greatest dramatizations" of the theme of home, in which the husband and wife share the same "pressure" (Richard Poirier 123). Richard Thorton states that Frost's description of this home represents how "unending work distorts grief into callousness" (Thornton 257). The role of the husband is "ambiguous" (123) while he does his best to "comprehend the wife's difficulties, he is only partially able to do so" (124). "The very title of the poem means something about the couple…… [Read More]
Frost's Poetry And Landscape
The Rise of Modernist Poetry
Between the years of 1912 and 1914 the entire temper of the American arts changed. America's cultural coming-of-age occurred and writing in the U.S. moved from a period entitled traditional to modernized. It seems as though everywhere, in that Year of 1913, barriers went down and People reached each other who had never been in touch before; there were all sorts of new ways to communicate as well as new communications. The new spirit was abroad and swept us all together. These changes engaged an America of rising intellectual opportunities and intensifying artistic preoccupation.
With the changing of the century, the old styles were considered increasingly obsolete, and the greatest impact was on American arts. The changes went deep, suggesting ending the narrowness that had seemed to limit the free development of American culture for so long. That mood was not…… [Read More]
Robert Frost "The Road Not Taken" (lines 18-20):
In the final lines of this poem, the narrator says some of the most famous lines in American poetry: "I took the one less travelled by, / And that has made all the difference" (19-20). Many have interpreted these lines as a celebration of individuality, but on closer inspection, it becomes evident that in reality, the narrator is lamenting that he has made these choices. Instead of following the path of others, he has gone on his own path. His conclusion is that it was this choice, choosing "the path less travelled by" that has marked the rest of his life. The tone of the piece is not one of self-congratulation but rather depression and despondency. He does not say that he regrets the choices that he has made, but acknowledges that his life would be very different had he made other…… [Read More]
Frost and Forche: Two Poems
In "The Road Not Taken," Robert Frost works the theme of choice into the poem by depicting a traveler -- a walker in the woods -- who is stopped at a fork in the road: one way is the worn path, which indicates that its taker will get where he wants to go; the other way is less worn, greener, and will likely lead the traveler to some foreign destination or even cause him to become lost. Frost describes the two paths and their likely outcomes and then tells of the choice that he made and comically adds that this choice has "made all the difference" -- because, no doubt, it has extended his walk by a good few hours.
Some read into Frost's poem an allegorical remark as they surmise that Frost is advocating that we travelers of this earth take the "road not…… [Read More]
Symbol in Frost, Welty
Symbol of Journey in Frost and Welty
Welty's Journey is Transcendental/Social
Frost's Journey is Satirical/Inspirational
Both Frost and Welty Use Satire in a Gentle Way
Welty's Style Moves From Satire Towards Compassion
Frost's Style Moves From Satire Towards Self-Awareness
Welty eflects all of life in her Thematic Structure
Frost eflects a simple event, losing one's way
Form and Content
Allows for many interpretations
The content can be read in varying ways
Welty's short story
Allows a more intimate connection with characters
The story can be read as allegory, social commentary, or realism
Welty and Frost use the same symbol to reflect different facets of life
B. They initiate a journey for the reader, but the reader's destination is of his own choosing
An Analysis of the Symbol of the Journey in Welty's "Worn Path" and Frost's
"oad Not Taken"
Introduction…… [Read More]
Mary tells arren that home is the "place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in" (122-3). This displeases arren because he does not feel Silas deserves to call their home his own. arren is not convinced and as he discusses Silas' brother with Mary, he claims Silas is "worthless" (149). Here we see how arren thinks people should earn most of the things they have in life, including a place to call their own. Mary, on the other hand, understands Silas' need to feel as though he has returned to a safe place to spend his last days. ith Silas at "home" she has hope for the future, even though Silas' state is grim.
Through irony, Frost also demonstrates how we all die alone despite our best efforts. Silas returns to a place he knew as home but in the end, arren and…… [Read More]
The poet writes, "My little horse must think it queer / To stop without a farmhouse near / Between the woods and frozen lake / The darkest evening of the year / He gives his harness bells a shake / To ask if there is some mistake. / The only other sound's the sweep / Of easy wind and downy flake" (Frost 275). The narrator has stopped to enjoy the magic of a snowfall on a winter evening. In these few lines, he manages to convey the cold, the natural world around him, his own dependence on the horse and sleigh to get him home to his own house, and his ability to stop for a moment to enjoy the beauty around him.
The only serious tone of the poem comes at the end, when Frost writes, "The woods are lovely, dark and deep. / But I have promises to…… [Read More]
Imagery and Theme in Frost's "Out"
Robert Frost's "Out" may appear to be simple in its narrative, straightforwardly telling a story, yet its complex poetic style enables the reader to experience the tragic events that occur through a variety of poetic devices that Frost uses. The poem demonstrates the fickleness of fate and how some things are beyond an individual's control. In "Out," Frost explores the limitations that an individual has over how their life turns out through vivid imagery and its theme.
The poem tells the story of a young boy who accidentally had his hand cut off by a buzz saw and who subsequently died from the shock. "Out" highlights how quickly things can happen and how even a quick response may be futile. Frost establishes a narrative backdrop through imagery and onomatopoeia. For instance, the poem opens, "The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard/And made dust…… [Read More]
Welty vs. Fost
This essay seves to compae two liteay woks. One of those woks is a shot stoy by Welty by the name of "A Won Path." The othe liteay wok to be coveed is "The Road Not Taken" by Robet Fost. The foms of the two woks ae diffeent but the metapho and stoy device used in both stoies is the same. Howeve, the manifestations and lessons and/o intepetations dawn fom the two woks is entiely diffeent with one of those tending to be a bit moe sombe and muted than the othe but both woks ae a tad sad in thei own way.
Compae and Contast
As noted in the intoduction, the common theme and device used in both stoies is the oad. Also in both cases, the oad is quite obviously used in a metapho. It is intimated and infeed quite clealy that the subject of…… [Read More]
Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman
Who is the speaker in this poem? What are his/her concerns/feelings? What words in the poem give you this impression of the speaker?
The speaker of "A Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman is the poet himself. The poet is watching a spider weave its web and muses about how this is a metaphor for his own soul seeking out new things.
Does the poem convey any particular sensory images (sight, smell, sound)? What words convey that image?
The language of the poem suggests unfurling and unreeling through the use of repetition and alliteration when describing the spider: "It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, / Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them." The focus of the poem is on visual elements, as Whitman is observing the spider.
Q3. Is there a message in the poem? What words convey that message?
Whitman…… [Read More]
ordsworth and Frost
Nature and the Individual
One's relationship with nature is a theme that has been explored often in poetry and across global borders. In "The orld is Too Much ith Us," illiam ordsworth writes about the disconnect that individuals have with nature and a desire to reestablish a relationship with it. On the other hand, in "The Road Not Taken," Robert Frost looks to nature in order to help him to make life decisions and uses it as inspiration for the future. ordsworth and Frost use nature as a means of defining whom they are and what they choose to do.
In "The orld is Too Much ith Us," ordsworth feels as though people have become disconnected from nature and wishes that he could find a way to reconnect. ordsworth laments, "The world is too much with us; late and soon,/Getting and spending, we lay wasted our powers:…… [Read More]
Stopping Woods a Snowy Evening
Frost: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
This is one of Robert Frost's most famous poems. Its apparent simplicity is deceptive and there is a great deal of depth and complexity that can be gleaned from an interpretation of the poem. Ostensibly, the poem deals with a traveler on horseback who rides out on the darkest night of the year. He stops to gaze in wonder and amazement at the woods and the thick snow that is falling. However, while he is intensely attracted by the beauty of the scene that he observes, he also has responsibilities and duties that he has to take care of and he has to leave this tranquil scene and continue on his journey.
One of the central elements of the poem is the sense of stillness and peace that the poet evokes through his use of language.…… [Read More]
The "blueblack cold" of a winter morning suggests the touch of cold and the sight of blue frost in the darkness. The "cracked hands" of the father who labors for his living appeals to a sense of cold, harsh touch. The son can "hear the cold splintering" and feel the "banked fires blaze," a contrast of the cold sound of ice and the warm crackling fire, and the contrasting sensations of cold and warmth.
The contrast between the physical, particularly the tactile sense of warm and cold, intensifies the sense of thwarted love the father feels for the boy, but cannot really show, except in rising early to make a fire and polish the boy's good shoes.
Figures of speech
Synecdoche: (a single thing that stands for larger meaning) Lighting a fire becomes a synecdoche or stand-in for the man's entire relationship with his son.
Hyperbole: The suggestion "No one…… [Read More]
Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell
The publication in 2008 of ords in Air: The Collected Correspondence of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop offers the reader a privileged glimpse into the long and emotional friendship between two major postwar American poets, who were each an active influence on the other's work. Bishop would enclose a poem in a 1961 letter to Lowell, claiming the draft "undoubtedly shows your influence" but also noting that "I'll probably make more changes" (ords in Air, 379). In a 1964 interview, Robert Lowell would claim Bishop as one of "the poets who most directly influenced me." (Kunitz 86). Indeed Travisano notes in his introduction to the letters that "Lowell's Life Studies and For the Union Dead, his most enduringly popular books, were written under Bishop's direct influence, as the letters make clear" (ords in Air, xviii). But those two titles mark a major shift in Lowell's…… [Read More]
This is emphasized by his regret that he cannot take both roads and be one traveler: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / and sorry I could not travel both / and be one traveler..."(Frost,122) Also, when he decides for one road, he hopes he can take the other later, but afterwards realizes that this is no longer possible since one decision leads to another, and there is no going back. Frost thus discusses life ironically, realizing that one decision can change one's whole life, without the possibility of going back and taking a different road.
In Auden's poem, the Unknown Citizen, the irony is even plainer to see. The death of the citizen who had lived like a saint in the "modern sense" of the word is very ironical. To live as a saint in the modern way, is to be a social character, who lives only according…… [Read More]
Self-Reliance and the Road Not Taken
American Transcendentalism: Emerson and Frost
There are several qualities that are inherent in American literature that help to set it apart from English literature. Among the earliest themes explored in American literature was the concept of self-reliance and individuality. These concepts are prevalent of writers and advocates of Transcendentalism, a subset of American Romanticism. Ralph aldo Emerson explored the concept of individuality in his essay, "Self-Reliance," and also aimed to define how self-worth is measured. Likewise, Robert Frost embraces the concepts of individuality and self-worth as defined by Emerson. Emerson's influence on Frost can be seen in the theme and narrative of Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken." Both Emerson and Frost comment on the importance of the self and the impact that individuality has on a person.
Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement that aimed to bring an individual to…… [Read More]
Through these symbols, Hardy addresses his disapproval of war.
Just as Hardy's poem uses religious images and images of death as symbols of disapproval, Frost's work uses nature to symbolize this feeling. In this case, Frost disapproves, not of war or some greater social problem, but of his own loneliness. Thus, he uses natural images like snow, the woods, and desert places to symbolize his disapproval of that loneliness. For instance, Frost describes how the snow "smother[s]" the animals in the woods (6-7), how the snow can represent his loneliness (9-12), and how the "empty spaces" of his "desert places" scare him (13, 16). Thus, while both Hardy and Frost exhibit disapproval in their works, they use different symbols to get across that disapproval, which is directed at different concepts.
Frost, Robert. "Desert Places." Internal.org 1936. 28 November 2008. http://www.internal.org/view_poem.phtml?poemID=120
Hardy, Thomas. "Channel Firing." Portable Poetry.com. 1914. 21…… [Read More]
As William Henry Davies would have averred, "… we have no time to stand and stare…" Frost describes, at length, how a young boy might have enjoyed himself swinging along the boughs. Certainly, one boy might have not been able to have bent several boughs. Frost does realize the cause of the bending of the boughs. It is the weight of the ice that collects on the boughs that causes them to bend. But a man can wish, can't he?
In "Mending Walls," Frost celebrates the notion of solitude. He twice mentions, "fences make good neighbors;" this is despite what one hears very often in modern parlance that, one should build bridges, not fences." The poem is interplay between two individuals or two opposing concepts. One is about the protection of one's privacy and the celebration of solitude. The opposing view supports the notion of community living and the need…… [Read More]